EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The celebration began for their graduation and extended to the 10-year anniversary of the nursing school. The Hunt School of Nursing and the Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Residents of the city in a yearlong effort raised $1.876 million in scholarships for Hunt School of Nursing students. The Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences also is celebrating as the first class to graduate under the school’s new name, which was established in honor of a transformational $10 million endowment gift from community leaders L. Frederick “Rick” Francis and his wife, Ginger Francis.

Hunt School of Nursing – 88 Graduates

The Hunt School of Nursing’s class of 2022 is entering the nursing field well-prepared and having only known nursing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes 74 graduates from the school’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, 13 graduates from its R.N. to B.S.N. program and one graduate from its Master of Science in Nursing program. The majority are local residents, with 75 hailing from El Paso.

Among the graduates was Vivian Gonzalez, who completed the Accelerated B.S.N. program. In addition to being a proud graduate, Gonzalez is a recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in Training, presented to her for the compassion she showed during clinical rotations at Del Sol Medical Center.

Gonzalez was born and raised in El Paso and graduated from San Elizario High School and the University of Texas at El Paso before attending the Hunt School of Nursing. She said she feels like she won the DAISY Award for doing what a lot of nurses do daily.

“I’ve always been an advocate for doing the little things, because in my experience, it’s those little things that matter most.”

Vivian Gonzalez, completed the Accelerated B.S.N

Gonzalez will begin her career next month as a nurse in Del Sol Medical Center’s emergency department.

Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences – 34 Graduates

The newly named Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences graduated 26 students with a Master of Science and eight with a post-baccalaureate certificate. This was the first class to graduate under the school’s new name, which honors Rick and Ginger Francis’ historic $10 million endowment gift.

Rick Francis served as the keynote speaker for the class of 2022’s ceremony. The El Paso native is the executive chairman of WestStar, an El Paso-based financial institution. Francis also served on the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents from 2003 to 2019, twice as chairman of the board.

“As members of the graduating class of 2022, you leave the Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences with a fine education, one that will serve you well in the years and decades ahead. You are the fifth graduating class of a program that less than 10 years ago was just a dream our community hoped would increase the educational opportunities of the next generation, increase the economic development opportunities for our whole region, and possibly change the world.”

Rick Francis said in his keynote address.

Rewatch the commencement livestreams at facebook.com/ttuhscep.

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